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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All -

I'm looking at adding CO2 to my new 10 gallon tank (been set up for about 2 months). Some plants are doing OK while others not so much so just hoping to give them a boost.

I'm looking at this basic Fluval kit and had some questions.

  • How long can i expect the 45g tank to last?
  • How advisable is it to get a solenoid? My understanding is that basically lets you put the tank on a timer, so i'm wondering how much further the tank will go with a solenoid. Alternatively, could i just manually turn it on in the morning and off at night, to at least save on CO2 wasted overnight.
  • How do I know how much CO2 to inject? As in, how do I know how much to unscrew the valve? My understanding is you want ~1 bubble per second but i dont know if tank size affects this.
  • Anything else i need to get with the kit like an indicator?

Thanks very much!
 

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Your gas tank should last a while. I'd suggest a solenoid and a timer. I use a smart plug with a scheduled on/off time. I set my system up on as low as possible and monitor it with a drop checker. Note a drop checker pretty much tells you what your ph level was an hour or two ago. I'll adjust up in minute increments daily until I see a color change (from blue to green) on the drop checker. Note some cheaper needle valves will "creep" on you and won't be super easy to fine tune. Just keep an eye on it for the first few weeks and err on the low side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your gas tank should last a while. I'd suggest a solenoid and a timer. I use a smart plug with a scheduled on/off time. I set my system up on as low as possible and monitor it with a drop checker. Note a drop checker pretty much tells you what your ph level was an hour or two ago. I'll adjust up in minute increments daily until I see a color change (from blue to green) on the drop checker. Note some cheaper needle valves will "creep" on you and won't be super easy to fine tune. Just keep an eye on it for the first few weeks and err on the low side.
So you manually turn the co2 on and adjust every day?
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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So you manually turn the co2 on and adjust every day?
No, Timer and electronic solenoid setup does that. Everyday he adjusts until it's dialed in, the amount of co2. Once that is set he would leave it. Unless, like he also states, cheaper ones can creep on you and one would have to adjust that from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sorry i'm a little confused - I'm thinking of getting the aquatek mini CO2 regulator with a build in solenoid. So with this set up, would I set it up, then dial in the CO2 to the bubbles per second that I want (1 per 2 seconds?) and then forget about it? Or would I have to adjust the bubbles every day? WIth regards to monitoring levels - if the reading you get is 1-2 hours delayed, how does this work for you guys, practically speaking, with regards to being at work during the day? How do you know you're not suffocating your fish?

I ended up getting the cheap fluval kit last night but decided within 30 minutes to return it, it's a piece of ****.
 

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sorry i'm a little confused - I'm thinking of getting the aquatek mini CO2 regulator with a build in solenoid. So with this set up, would I set it up, then dial in the CO2 to the bubbles per second that I want (1 per 2 seconds?) and then forget about it? Or would I have to adjust the bubbles every day? WIth regards to monitoring levels - if the reading you get is 1-2 hours delayed, how does this work for you guys, practically speaking, with regards to being at work during the day? How do you know you're not suffocating your fish?

I ended up getting the cheap fluval kit last night but decided within 30 minutes to return it, it's a piece of ****.
Dial in about a bubble a second and monitor using a drop checker. They are pretty cheap. Inside you have fluid that before CO2 is blue. Adjust your CO2 very, very slowly (a minute amount per day) so that in 2 hours of CO2 run time the drop checker solution turns toward green. Too much CO2 and it turns yellow. I have more bubbles going per second than I can count and my tanks are just into the green from the blue. I have the solenoid plugged into a smart plug w/ a scheduled timer programmed from a smart phone app. It comes on an hour before the lights turn on and shuts off an hour before the lights shut off. I am using the CO2Art Pro SE and the CO2Art Pro Elite setups. They are expensive but in the long run worth the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ah i see, that makes sense thanks! I think i'm going to go with the aquatek mini regulator as it seems like it will accomplish what i need for relatively cheap.
 

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ah i see, that makes sense thanks! I think i'm going to go with the aquatek mini regulator as it seems like it will accomplish what i need for relatively cheap.
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before you decide on a mini-regulator, please check out the FZone first. There are several comparison videos comparing the AquaTek to the FZone. There are ALOT of reviews on both. I purchased the FZONE unit myself. What I like about the FZone mini regulator is the build quality (in comparison to the Aquatek), bubble counter, amount of positive reviews, solenoid, and ability to connect it to CGA, paintball canisters and 90gram disposable CO2 cartridges. For my setup, a large commercial sized CGA CO2 tank looks too industrial for my 30 gallon planted setup and would take away from the look. I use 24oz Paintball canisters in conjunction with my FZone mini regulator. For my tank, each refill lasts approximately 40+ days and each refill costs about $5.50 at a large Sports shop so this setup is VERY cost effective. Prior I was putting in liquid Carbon (used Seachem kH Carbonate) and that was MUCH more expensive and NOT as effective. The results are excellent for a small investment.

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before you decide on a mini-regulator, please check out the FZone first. There are several comparison videos comparing the AquaTek to the FZone. There are ALOT of reviews on both. I purchased the FZONE unit myself. What I like about the FZone mini regulator is the build quality (in comparison to the Aquatek), bubble counter, amount of positive reviews, solenoid, and ability to connect it to CGA, paintball canisters and 90gram disposable CO2 cartridges. For my setup, a large commercial sized CGA CO2 tank looks too industrial for my 30 gallon planted setup and would take away from the look. I use 24oz Paintball canisters in conjunction with my FZone mini regulator. For my tank, each refill lasts approximately 40+ days and each refill costs about $5.50 at a large Sports shop so this setup is VERY cost effective. Prior I was putting in liquid Carbon (used Seachem kH Carbonate) and that was MUCH more expensive and NOT as effective. The results are excellent for a small investment.
disregard the initial working pressure. I do NOT run it that high. When I turn on the regulator for my 30 gallon planted tank, 24psi working pressure and 3 bubbles / sec rate works fine but each setup will be different. After installing a unit, it is best to try slightly different working pressures and different bubble count rates and take measurements at different times of day of pH, kH and temperature. Efficiency will depend upon if you add a diffusor or reactor to dispurse the CO2 into the tank. In my setup, I added a stainless steel fibst diffusor and added a Hydor Koralia pump to help the CO2 mix into the tank instead of mostly going straight up to the surface.

disregard the initial working pressure. I do NOT run it that high. When I turn on the regulator for my 30 gallon planted tank, 24psi working pressure and 3 bubbles / sec rate works fine but each setup will be different. After installing a unit, it is best to try slightly different working pressures and different bubble count rates and take measurements at different times of day of pH, kH and temperature. Efficiency will depend upon if you add a diffusor or reactor to dispurse the CO2 into the tank. In my setup, I added a stainless steel fibst diffusor and added a Hydor Koralia pump to help the CO2 mix into the tank instead of mostly going straight up to the surface.
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and don't forget to add an air stone with CO2 injection. It helps the fish acclimate better in my opinion.
 

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